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Posted: August 16, 2021

Plumbob wildfire getting heavy BCWS response

Strong winds were responsible Sunday for whipping a .01-hectare fire on Plumbob Mountain into a 368-ha monster this morning (August 16).

The fire was detected on the afternoon of Sunday, August 15, burning 18 kilometres west of Baynes Lake on the west side of Lake Koocanusa.

“The fire quickly moved from ground to crown fuels due to moderate-to-strong southwesterly winds gusting up to 50 km/h, which caused it to spread rapidly,” BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) reported this morning.

“Over the afternoon (Aug. 15), the fire displayed rank 4 behaviour–a highly vigorous surface fire with torching, or passive crown fire–and wind continues to drive growth in a northeast direction.”

BCWS hit the fire fast and hard Sunday.

“Upon detection, nine fixed-wing airtankers, three helicopters and four pieces of heavy equipment responded to support ground crews. Later in the afternoon, smoke led to poor visibility and aircraft had to stop working on the fire in the interest of safety,” BCWS outlined.

The Regional District of East Kootenay has issued an evacuation order in the vicinity of this fire effective at 8 p.m. August 15.

The evacuation order is in effect for the southwest side of Plumbob Mountain (Electoral Area B) including Plumbob Creek FSR, Caven Creek FSR as shown on the map associated with the order.

The Regional District of East Kootenay has also issued an evacuation alert in the vicinity of this fire effective at 9 p.m. August 15.

The evacuation alert is in effect for the southwest side of Plumbob Mountain (Electoral Area B) including Teepee Creek FSR to the North, United States border to the South, Cherry Lake to the West and Kookanusa Lake to the East as outlined on the map (below).

As of 8 p.m. last night, BCWS reported no structures are imminently threatened.

Today there are 10 firefighters, three helicopters, four pieces of heavy equipment and nine airtankers battling the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Lead image: An aerial view from one of the airtankers of the Plumbob Mountain wildfire from August 15. BCWS photo

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